Tommy's charity fundraising story 2021
Water Babies mum Helen from Northampton tells us why it meant so much for daughter Beatrix to take part in Splashathon and fundraise for Tommy's.
Beatrix was just 16 months old at the 2017 Splashathon and 3 years 4 months at the 2019 Splashathon. We did both Splashathons at the Marriott Hotel in Northampton with Water Babies Beds & Bucks.
Did you have a special reason for supporting Tommy’s?
I feel very fortunate to have been able to have a happy, healthy baby to enjoy spending time with, marvelling at her development and achievements and learning from (she is the kindest and most patient person I have ever known!). Sadly I know that not every pregnancy has such a happy ending. I have seen the devastation of still birth with two of my friends, such heartbreak is all consuming, I know others who have suffered miscarriages. The birth of my daughter wasn't straightforward, but I got to bring her home and enjoy being a first-time Mummy. The work of Tommy's can help improve our understanding of still birth, miscarriage and premature birth, and help to prevent such tragic loss of life; for it is not solely the baby who is lost, such trauma can really change the parents, the wider family and friends. Despite the sadness, Tommy's is a charity that seems to be incredibly positive - often we don't realise we need such charities until our world is turned upside down. So I felt it was important to support Tommy's, so that in future other parents will bring home their baby just as I did, and be able to enjoy the experience of parenting just as I do through the increased knowledge and understanding that research funded by Tommy's has enabled.
Did you have fun?
We had so much fun! The 2017 Splashathon theme was superheroes - hence the cape. The 2019 Splashathon was Pirates and Princesses - so my daughter chose to go as Princess Pearl - the Doctor in the Julia Donaldson Zog books. It's a super time for the parents to get involved too - one of the Dad's also dressed up as a Princess and completed the event in a beautiful dress and wig - there was a great sense of fun all around. Waterbabies lessons were always so much fun, but this was increased on the day even more. We were all encouraging our children so much to swim their Splashathon length it was super noisy! Then lots of different adventures were had, led by the Waterbabies teacher who must have been worn out by the end of their teaching day!. We always loved to achieve swimming badges and really treasure the Splashathon ones!
Can you describe what it felt like to fundraise and complete the challenges?
It was great to have an opportunity to fundraise for such a good cause, doing something that we loved to do! Swimming lessons offer such an incredible opportunity to bond with your baby. I was very humbled with the amount people donated for Beatrix's first ever fundraising event, perhaps partly due to the level of joy she has brought us, we know how lucky we are and how other parents should have such happiness too. The build-up to the Splashathon was great and it was such a sense of occasion - my husband took time off work to come and support, along with all 4 of Beatrix's grandparents!
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